History of Zion

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Our first church home was constructed in 1834 and was organized in 1837 as Zion Evangelical Lutheran and Reformed Church of Delaware.

Zion Church has been an integral part of the larger Delaware Community for nearly two hundred years.  In the early history of Ohio and Delaware County, missionaries of the Reformed Church made occasional visits to the German settlements for the preaching of the Gospel and to administer the sacraments of the church.  These early church efforts date to 1821.

The first church home was constructed in 1834 and was formallyy organized in 1837 as Zion Evangelical Lutheran and Reformed Church of Delaware.  The Reformed congregation worshiped together harmoniously with the Lutherans (known today as St. Mark's Lutheran Church) until 1852 at which time there was an amicable separation and the Reformed congregation purchased the Lutheran interest in the church building.  A new church building replaced the old church to meet the needs of the growing congregation.

On March 23, 1913 a devastating flood in Ohio severely damaged the church building.  A decision was made not to repair the facility but, rather, to relocate the church.  In 1918, the current church facility was dedicated on the southwest corner of Franklin Street and Central Avenue in Delaware.  We have worshiped at this site since that time and have been witness to the many changes in this community and the world since that time.

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Easter morning, the day before the flood of 1913

The year 1934 was a significant year for the denomination and the local church.  What was once called the German Reformed Church in the United States had dropped German from its name because this local congregation, like many others, now spoke English.  The Reformed Church of the United States merged with the Evangelical Synod in North America in 1934.  The Zion Reformed Church then became the Zion Reformed and Evangelical Church.

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In 1918, the current church facility was dedicated on the southwest corner of
Franklin Street and Central Avenue in Delaware.

 

In 1957, the Uniting General Synod was held in Cleveland, Ohio where the Evangelical and Reformed Church merged with the Congregational Christian Churches forming the United Church of Christ.  This merger brought about another name change from the Zion Reformed and Evangelical Church to the Zion United Church of Christ, the name we bear today. For all of the changes, we remain steadfast as witness to the presence of Jesus Christ in our church, in our lives, and in the world.  We are making an active contribution to Zion's history and tradition today at Zion.

Please feel free and welcome to be a part of this ongoing and wonderful story!

Recent Message

Rev. Mirjam Welsch

This morning Rev. Welsch is going to speak to us on some selected verses from chapter two of the book of First John. Last week we set the stage by saying that this book was written to "reaffirm the beliefs of the community during a time of spiritual upheaval or confusion," which is a feeling we understand today. The author we call John uses themes that are familiar to us from the Gospel of John; themes of word and light and love and truth. There are also strong statements in here about sin, meant to correct the false teaching of some people who were trying to lead the community astray. John's goal is to build up the community, to make it loving and healthy, and our reading this morning is a direct continuation from last week, when we talked about the freedom that follows confession. So before I read this morning's text, hear again these few verses from the end of chapter 1: